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Survey of Law Libraries: Best Practices in Docket Searching

  • ID: 4764926
  • Report
  • 43 pages
  • Primary Research Group
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The study looks closely at the applications and programs that librarians and others in law firms, university law schools and other organizations in the legal sector use to search and navigate court dockets.  The report helps its readers to answer questions such as: what kind of programs and applications are law librarians using to search dockets?  How much are they spending? How and to what extent do they teach docket searching skills to their organizations attorneys, law professors and other patrons?  What do they consider best practices?

The report presents detailed data on the use of a broad range of docket searching applications such as PACER, CourtLink, WestLaw Dockets, Bloomberg Law Docket Searching and FastCase.  The report lists details on annual spending on PACER.  It relates the extent of specific information literacy measures in docket searching for PACER, state courts, the US Supreme Court and much more.

Data in the report is based on a survey of 71 law libraries predominantly from the USA and Canada, including more than 30 major law firms and 16 law schools, among a total of 71 participants.

Just a few this report’s many findings are that:  

  • Nearly 32% of survey participants said that they use PACER either “a great deal” or “a lot.”
  • 43% of law libraries of law firms in the sample offer their library patrons training on PACER, in the form of video tutorials, classes, or other means.
  • 69% of university law school libraries in the sample used WestLaw Dockets.
  • Bloomberg Law Docket Searching was particularly likely to be used by librarians who had both an MLS (or MLIS) and a JD degree.
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1. THE QUESTIONNAIRE   

2. PARTICIPANTS LIST   

  • Characteristics of the Sample

3. SUMMARY OF MAIN FINDINGS   

  • Extent of Use of Pacer
  • Nature of Training on Pacer Offered by the Law Library
  • Pervasiveness of Use of Specialized Information Searchers for Docket Searching Tasks
  • Library Spending on Fees for PACER
  • Use of Specific Commercial Docket Searching Services:  Use of Bloomberg Law Docket Searching
  • Use of Specific Commercial Docket Searching Services:  Use of CourtLink
  • Use of Specific Commercial Docket Searching Services:  Use of WestLaw Dockets
  • Use of Specific Commercial Docket Searching Services:  Use of FastCase and/or Docket Alarm
  • Use of Other Services for Docket Searching
  • Special Info Literacy Measures Taken by Law Libraries in Docket Searching

List of Tables

Table 1.1 How extensive is the use of Pacer by attorneys and others conducting online searches at your organization?   
Table 1.2 How extensive is the use of Pacer by attorneys and others conducting online searches at your organization? Broken out by type of law of law library   
Table 1.3 How extensive is the use of Pacer by attorneys and others conducting online searches at your organization? Broken out by library staff size   
Table 1.4 How extensive is the use of Pacer by attorneys and others conducting online searches at your organization? Broken out by personal age of the survey participant   
Table 1.5 How extensive is the use of Pacer by attorneys and others conducting online searches at your organization? Broken out by self-assessed level of familiarity with emerging technologies in the legal sector   
Table 1.6 How extensive is the use of Pacer by attorneys and others conducting online searches at your organization? Broken out by gender of the survey participant   
Table 1.7 How extensive is the use of Pacer by attorneys and others conducting online searches at your organization? Broken out by educational background of the survey participant   
Table 2 Does the library offer video tutorials or other training any of the following?   
Table 2.1.1 Does the library offer video tutorials or other PACER training?   
Table 2.1.2 Does the library offer video tutorials or other PACER training? Broken out by type of law of law library   
Table 2.1.3 Does the library offer video tutorials or other PACER training? Broken out by library staff size   
Table 2.1.4 Does the library offer video tutorials or other PACER trainings Broken out by personal age of the survey participant   
Table 2.1.5 Does the library offer video tutorials or other PACER training? Broken out by self-assessed level of familiarity with emerging technologies in the legal sector   
Table 2.1.6 Does the library offer video tutorials or other PACER training? Broken out by gender of the survey participant   
Table 2.1.7 Does the library offer video tutorials or other PACER training? Broken out by educational background of the survey participant   
Table 2.2.1 Does the library offer video tutorials or any other training in the use of specific state court dockets?   
Table 2.2.2 Does the library offer video tutorials or any other training in the use of specific state court dockets? Broken out by type of law of law library   
Table 2.2.3 Does the library offer video tutorials or any other training in the use of specific state court dockets? Broken out by library staff size   
Table 2.2.4 Does the library offer video tutorials or any other training in the use of specific state court dockets? Broken out by personal age of the survey participant   
Table 2.2.5 Does the library offer video tutorials or any other training in the use of specific state court dockets? Broken out by self-assessed level of familiarity with emerging technologies in the legal sector   
Table 2.2.6 Does the library offer video tutorials or any other training in the use of specific state court dockets? Broken out by gender of the survey participant   
Table 2.2.7 Does the library offer video tutorials or any other training in the use of specific state court dockets? Broken out by educational background of the survey participant   
Table 2.3.1 Does the library offer video tutorials or other the US Supreme  Court trainings   
Table 2.3.2 Does the library offer video tutorials or any other training in the use of the US Supreme court docket? Broken out by type of law of law library   
Table 2.3.3 Does the library offer video tutorials or any other training in the use of the US Supreme court docket? Broken out by library staff size   
Table 2.3.4 Does the library offer video tutorials or any other training in the use of the US Supreme court docket? Broken out by personal age of the survey participant   
Table 2.3.5 Does the library offer video tutorials or any other training in the use of the US Supreme court docket? Broken out by self-assessed level of familiarity with emerging technologies in the legal sector   
Table 2.3.6 Does the library offer video tutorials or any other training in the use of the US Supreme court docket? Broken out by gender of the survey participant   
Table 2.3.7 Does the library offer video tutorials or any other training in the use of the US Supreme court docket? Broken out by educational background of the survey participant   
Does your organization have paralegals, librarians or attorneys who specialize in searching court dockets for others?  If so, who are they?  Do they receive any special training? Broken out by type of law of law library   
Table 3.1 How much did the library spend (in US$) on PACER fees in the past year, including fees reimbursed by clients?   
Table 3.2 How much did the library spend (in US$) on PACER fees in the past year, including fees reimbursed by clients? Broken out by type of law of law library   
Table 3.3 How much did the library spend (in US$) on PACER fees in the past year, including fees reimbursed by clients? Broken out by library staff size   
Table 3.4 How much did the library spend (in US$) on PACER fees in the past year, including fees reimbursed by clients? Broken out by personal age of the survey participant   
Table 3.5 How much did the library spend (in US$) on PACER fees in the past year, including fees reimbursed by clients? Broken out by self-assessed level of familiarity with emerging technologies in the legal sector   
Table 3.6 How much did the library spend (in US$) on PACER fees in the past year, including fees reimbursed by clients? Broken out by gender of the survey participant   
Table 3.7 How much did the library spend (in US$) on PACER fees in the past year, including fees reimbursed by clients? Broken out by educational background of the survey participant   
Table 4 Does your organization use any of the following services for docket searching?   
Table 4.1.1 Does your organization use Bloomberg Law Docket Searching?   
Table 4.1.2 Does your organization use Bloomberg Law Docket Searching? Broken out by type of law of law library   
Table 4.1.3 Does your organization use Bloomberg Law Docket Searching? Broken out by library staff size   
Table 4.1.4 Does your organization use Bloomberg Law Docket Searching? Broken out by personal age of the survey participant   
Table 4.1.5 Does your organization use Bloomberg Law Docket Searching? Broken out by self-assessed level of familiarity with emerging technologies in the legal sector   
Table 4.1.6 Does your organization use Bloomberg Law Docket Searching? Broken out by gender of the survey participant   
Table 4.1.7 Does your organization use Bloomberg Law Docket Searching? Broken out by educational background of the survey participant   
Table 4.2.1 Does your organization use LexisNexis CourtLink?   
Table 4.2.2 Does your organization use LexisNexis CourtLink? Broken out by type of law of law library   
Table 4.2.3 Does your organization use LexisNexis CourtLink? Broken out by library staff size   
Table 4.2.4 Does your organization use LexisNexis CourtLink? Broken out by personal age of the survey participant   
Table 4.2.5 Does your organization use LexisNexis CourtLink? Broken out by self-assessed level of familiarity with emerging technologies in the legal sector   
Table 4.2.6 Does your organization use LexisNexis CourtLink? Broken out by gender of the survey participant   
Table 4.2.7 Does your organization use LexisNexis CourtLink? Broken out by educational background of the survey participant   
Table 4.3.1 Does your organization use WestLaw Dockets?   
Table 4.3.2 Does your organization use WestLaw Dockets? Broken out by type of law of law library   
Table 4.3.3 Does your organization use WestLaw Dockets? Broken out by library staff size   
Table 4.3.4 Does your organization use WestLaw Dockets? Broken out by personal age of the survey participant   
Table 4.3.5 Does your organization use WestLaw Dockets? Broken out by self-assessed level of familiarity with emerging technologies in the legal sector   
Table 4.3.6 Does your organization use WestLaw Dockets? Broken out by gender of the survey participant   
Table 4.3.7 Does your organization use WestLaw Dockets? Broken out by educational background of the survey participant   
Table 4.4.1 Does your organization use FastCase and/or Docket Alarm?   
Table 4.4.2 Does your organization use FastCase and/or Docket Alarm? Broken out by type of law of law library   
Table 4.4.3 Does your organization use FastCase and/or Docket Alarm? Broken out by library staff size   
Table 4.4.4 Does your organization use FastCase and/or Docket Alarm? Broken out by personal age of the survey participant   
Table 4.4.5 Does your organization use FastCase and/or Docket Alarm? Broken out by self-assessed level of familiarity with emerging technologies in the legal sector   
Table 4.4.6 Does your organization use FastCase and/or Docket Alarm? Broken out by gender of the survey participant   
Table 4.4.7 Does your organization use FastCase and/or Docket Alarm? Broken out by educational background of the survey participant   
What special info literacy and other measures has the library taken to increase the efficiency of docket searching by your library patrons? Broken out by type of law library

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  • Alameda County Law Library
  • Balch and Bingham LLP
  • Barack Ferrazzano and Kirshbaum
  • Barclay Damon LLP
  • Boardman and Clark LLP
  • Brooklyn Law School Library
  • Canadian Tax Foundation
  • Champaign County
  • Chapman and Cutler
  • Conyers Dill and Pearman
  • Court of Justice of the European Union
  • Crowell and Moring LLP
  • De La Salle University
  • Dentons Canada LLP
  • Duke Law
  • Elgin Law Association
  • Elon University School of Law
  • Fairfax Public Law Library
  • Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
  • FCHS
  • Finnegan
  • Foley Hoag
  • Fordham Law School
  • Frost Brown Todd LLC
  • Gilbert's LLP
  • Grayson County Law Library
  • Holland and Knight
  • Honigman LLP
  • Jackson Walker LLP
  • Kathrine R. Everett Law Library
  • Kegler Brown Hill + Ritter
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • Law Library Association of St. Louis
  • Law Society of P.E.I. Library
  • Lawson Lundell LLP
  • Lehigh County Law Library
  • Lieff Cabraser
  • Lincoln Memorial University Law School
  • Lyon County Law Library
  • McCaughtry and Associates, Inc.
  • Mendocino County Law Library
  • Miller Johnson
  • Monterey County Law Library
  • National Judicial Institute
  • Native American Rights Fund
  • New York County District Attorney's Office
  • NYS Office of the Attorney General
  • Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP
  • Paul L . Boley Law Library, Lewis and Clark Law School
  • SBCLL
  • Sidley Austin LLP
  • Snell and Wilmer
  • State Law Library of Montana
  • State of Oregon Law Library
  • Stikeman Elliott
  • Stites and Harbison
  • Supreme Court of Canada
  • Supreme Court of KS. Law Library
  • The Brattle Group
  • Thormodsgard Law Library University of North Dakota School of Law
  • Univ. of Idaho College of Law
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Pavia
  • University of South Carolina School of Law
  • University of NE College of Law
  • Vinson and Elkins LLP
  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati
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